Evidence Shows That Select Committee Muzzled Opponents

Media Release 13 March 2013
Family First NZ has produced evidence that the Government Administration Select Committee considering the Marriage Amendment Bill has treated unique submissions opposing the bill as form letters in a desperate attempt to ram through the bill.

“The Committee, which was quite obviously biased, labelled the thousands of submitters using the Protect Marriage resource as ‘form letters’ and treated them as one and the same, rather than as ‘unique’ as they should have been. This denied them the right to make oral submissions if they requested to,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“While the Committee has done the same with supporters of the bill, there is a massive difference between the style and content of the submissions. The supporters went online to a website, ticked statements that they agreed to, and then sent it through. They all said virtually the same thing. Typed, identical, same phrasing – with an occasional added comment.”

“But those using the Protect Marriage forms only had the headings. They had to submit their own ideas from scratch – and they were all very different. They were raising different points, speaking from personal view and experience, explaining their professional expertise, etc. And many wanting to speak to their submission but were therefore denied the opportunity because they were treated as ‘form letters’.”

“Anybody comparing the two types would see the difference – but the Committee couldn’t, or wouldn’t.”

Last month, more than 200 submitters wrote an Open Letter to the Prime Minister John Key, the Speaker of the House, and the Select Committee considering the bill, questioning the speed with which the bill is being pushed through, and asking for the right to make an oral submission. Many more submitters have made contact with Family First since being made aware that the Select Committee was no longer hearing submissions. A number of significant organisations have been excluded from the opportunity to make an oral submission.

Family First is calling on the Government to re-open the Submission process.

FOR THE SAME SEX MARRIAGE BILL (we’ve marked the similar bits)





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